Immediate fallout from the start of the Patient Driven Payment Model led therapy advocates to complain to federal authorities about layoffs and other adverse effects.
But stakeholders on all sides agreed that the next six months will be the key to calculating how the therapy landscape will be formed.
“It’s too soon to make staffing decisions that will directly result in a reduction in patient access to skilled physical rehabilitative services,” Kara Gainer, director of regulatory affairs for the American Physical Therapy Association, told McKnight’s shortly after PDPM began and it was apparent thousands of therapist layoffs were taking place across the country.
APTA said it and other advocates were relaying concerns to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS did not respond to requests for comment from McKnight’s.
“[PDPM] did not change the value of physical therapy services or patient needs. Reducing PT and PTA staff 48 hours into this model reflects poorly on the commitment to patient access and quality of care,” APTA President Sharon Dunn said in a tweet.
Therapy companies said they expected a rise in concurrent and group therapy usage. They also acknowledged that staffing levels would be better known in coming months.